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Re: Cliches understanding and translation

Posted by ESC on February 11, 2004

In Reply to: Cliches understanding and translation posted by Alexandra on February 11, 2004

: Hello everyone. I am doing a scientific research on cliches and methods of their translation into other languages. If you read an expression in newspaper its meaning is more or less clear from the context, but when it comes to translation - the trouble begins. For example, there is an expression "Clintongale" or "Monicagale" you cannot possible leave it like this, while many people may not no who Monica is. Or if this is a changed phrase from a movie, people might not have seen the movie. Can someone help me? Perhaps you've exprienced this problem as well. I would be grateful for any information. Thank you in advance!

Phrases like you mentioned grow out of the common experience of a people. That's why it is hard to translate into another language. I'll look through my references and see if there is anything that would help you.

Clintongate and Monicagate refer to Watergate, the scandal during the Nixon Administration.

"Watergate affair, in U.S. history, series of scandals involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon; more specifically, the burglarizing of the Democratic party national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C."
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0851589.html

I don't know if this will be of interest, but there is information in the archives about types of sayings. http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/21/messages/482.html